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Academics

Warren Wilson College MFA Program Most Popular Among Low-Residency Programs

Warren Wilson College’s renowned MFA Program for Writers has been rated most popular nationwide among low-residency programs over a six-year period, including 2014, by Poets & Writers Magazine. The magazine’s 2014 rankings appear in the September/October 2013 issue.

The Warren Wilson program, the nation’s first low-residency MFA program, holds two 10-day residencies each year, in January and July. Students and faculty mentors remain in contact by various means throughout the respective semesters. The residencies also feature public readings and lectures by the program’s distinguished faculty.

“Our No. 1 placement in the Poets & Writers Index for 2014, as well as in their 6-year survey, recognizes the consistency of our program’s excellence,” MFA Program Director Debra Allbery said. “We’re proud of the manifestation of that excellence in the writing world: in the hundreds of books of poetry and fiction our graduates have published; in the number of prestigious prizes and fellowships awarded to our alumni; and in the perpetuation of our teaching methods in our graduates’ classrooms.

“We take pride as well in the stability and effectiveness of our model, which set the standard almost four decades ago. No assessment of our effectiveness is more exacting than our own; we remain dedicated to providing our writers with the finest apprenticeship in craft available, one that is challenging and thorough, but also generous, noncompetitive and supportive.”

Founded by Ellen Bryant Voigt, the MFA program began with 16 students and three faculty members in 1976 at Goddard College in Vermont. The program moved south in 1981 to Warren Wilson and now receives more than 10 times the number of applications for admission it can accept. Warren Wilson MFA alumni have published several hundred books, and the program’s faculty have won nearly every major honor in the country, including MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, Pulitzer Prizes and the National Book Award.

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